Urodynamics is the name given to a number of tests designed to show how your bladder is functioning. The main test is called cystometry, which measures your bladder's ability to store and pass urine.
Symptoms of bladder problems may include:
- Loss of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising
- Sudden and/or frequent urge to pass urine
- Getting up at night frequently to pass urine
- Difficulty in emptying your bladder
- Recurrent bladder infections
Sometimes conservative methods such adjusting your fluid intake, specific exercises, or medicine prove successful in managing bladder problems. if chronic urinary problems persist, the results of urodynamic tests allow your doctor to demonstrate the reasons for the symptoms you have, and offer you the best treatment options.
Urodynamics is the best way to properly measure our bladder function. Although there are several slightly different ways that urodynamics can be performed, the principles are the same .
- You may first be asked to do a series of mild exercises with a full bladder to see how extensive your leakage is. This is called a pad test.
- You will then be asked to pass urine into a special toilet to measure how quickly your bladder is able to empty. You may have a bladder scan immediately after you have passed urine to assess how well your bladder has emptied.
- Following this, a small plastic tube called a catheter will be inserted into your bladder so it can be filled with fluid. Two fine soft catheters (sensors) will also be inserted, one into the bladder and the other into the vagina or rectum. These lines will record pressures measured in your bladder and abdomen.
- During the procedure you will be asked questions about the sensations in your bladder. You will also be asked to do some of the things which might trigger the problem you have (e.g. cough, strain, jog, stand up, or listen to the sound of running water). Let the person doing the test know when your bladder feels full.
- Finally, you will be asked to empty your bladder again, with the two fine sensors still in place. The sensors are then removed and the procedure is complete.
The results of the test are usually available immediately and will be discussed with you so that your treatment can be planned. Patients sometimes report that passing urine may sting a little for a day after the test, but if you think that you have developed a urine infection please let your doctor know immediately.
Please note that urinary problems, especially incontinence, may affect women of any age. Therse problems tend to increase with age, pregnancy, childbirth and the onset of menopause.